Can Rodents Transmit CoViD-19?

The CoViD-19 pandemic triggered several unfounded fears in most of us. One of them is the fear that rodents might transmit SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the current pandemic. While some studies found coronavirus species in animals like rodents, a person’s likelihood of getting exposed to an infected rodent is very low

But we still have to be cautious about infestations. Rodents can pose numerous health risks even though they are not capable of transmitting SARS-CoV-2. With that, we should do everything to keep our homes safe from any rodent problem. This is especially important if we’re living in one of the most rodent-infested cities like Ontario. As everyone cooks and eats more at home during the pandemic, the rodents in Ontario also increase in population

Regardless of the types of rodents, they can be a threat to our health and homes. Let us learn more about these mammals and how to keep them away during this pandemic. 

An Overview of Rodents

Known as the largest existing group of mammals, rodents (order Rodentia) account for almost half of all Mammalian species. We can find this massive order of animals in various habitats, such as forests, deserts, mountains, and waters. Some species of Canadian rodents like Norway rats also invade the human environment. 

Note that these mammals don’t only include the true rats and mice. But also other various groups like porcupines, beavers, squirrels, marmots, pocket gophers, and chinchillas. 

Despite such diversity, these rodents share a distinct characteristic. They all have upper and lower pairs of incisors. Such rootless teeth never stop growing, and rodents use these for gnawing food, digging holes, and defending themselves. 

Rodents have a significant impact on humans, ranging from inconvenient to deadly. They can damage crops and homes. They can also contaminate food and pass infections to people through their urine, droppings, and saliva. But without us being aware, we became a reliable source of shelter and food to them.

Can Rodents Transmit CoViD-19? 

Rodents carry the three most recently discovered human coronaviruses. And, these include SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused CoViD-19 infections and millions of deaths. Studies traced the genetic material of such viruses to a bat origin—this crossover of virus from host animal to people added to our concerns of health and safety. 

But that’s not a great concern since rodents are not a CoViD-19 animal source. So far, there is no known case linking them to the direct transmission of the deadly virus. Plus, rodents that carry coronavirus remain in closed quarters in farms, markets, and restaurants in Vietnam. Because of this, the risk of rodents as an animal CoViD source that spreads the virus to humans in other settings is at the lowest level. 

Diseases Directly Transmitted by Rodents

However, rodents do carry many diseases that they can directly transmit to humans. Their droppings can cause allergies and spread food-borne illnesses. That’s why it’s essential to prevent and remove rodents from our homes. 

Below is a list of rodent-borne diseases we should be wary of. 

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome: It’s a severe respiratory disease with no specific treatment, cure, or vaccine. Early symptoms of hantavirus infections consist of fatigue, fever, and muscle aches. They develop around one to five weeks after exposure to urine or droppings of infected rodents. 
  • Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome: It’s an acute disease caused by hantavirus infection. Initial symptoms include intense headaches, fever, back, and abdominal pain, nausea, and blurred vision. They can quickly develop within 1 to 2 weeks after exposure to infectious material. 
  • Lassa Fever: It’s an acute viral illness with a sudden onset of mild symptoms, such as slight fever, headache, and general malaise. They develop within 6 to 21 days after being in contact with the virus. They can progress to more severe symptoms like hemorrhaging and constant vomiting. 
  • Leptospirosis: It’s a bacterial disease that ranges in severity. Some may develop a wide range of symptoms that can be mistaken for other conditions, while others don’t have symptoms at all. If left untreated, leptospirosis can result in kidney damage, liver failure, and even death. 
  • Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM): It’s a viral infectious disease with two phases of infection. The first phase includes non-specific flu-like symptoms, such as fever, malaise, muscle pains, and vomiting. Meanwhile, the second phase is characterized by neurologic diseases like meningitis. 
  • Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever: It’s a severe disease prevalent in some regions of Russia. The symptoms can begin after an incubation period of three to eight days and these include chills, fever, headache, and severe muscle ache with vomiting. 
  • Plague: It’s an infamous illness that killed millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages but continues to occur in some rural areas in the Western US. The symptoms depend on the exposure to the bacteria. If caught very early on, it is often treatable with common antibiotics. 
  • Rat-Bite Fever: It’s an infectious disease caused by two different bacteria. The early symptoms such as fever, vomiting, rash, and joint swelling can make it look like other medical conditions. This disease can lead to death without early diagnosis and proper treatment. 

Salmonellosis: It’s a bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. The symptoms of salmonella infection often include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. They can develop six hours to six days after infection and persist for four to seven days.

How to Keep Rodents Away Amid the CoViD-19 Pandemic

The shutdown of restaurants and other commercial establishments depleted the primary food sources of rodents. Like everyone else, they are trying to by invading homes in search of food. With the coronavirus still raging around us, keeping these sneaky rodents away is increasingly essential.  

Here are some practical rodent control tips we can implement in our homes: 

Eliminate Conditions that Attract Rodents

Rodents also need shelter, food, and warmth. Since our homes provide such comfort, they are likely to get insid. The best way to prevent rodents in gaining entry is to seal up holes and cracks inside and outside our homes. 

Let us also ensure to eliminate potential food sources and shelters that often attract rodents, such as the following: 

  • Unsealed garbage bins
  • Dog food and feces
  • Unnecessary debris
  • Heavy vegetation
  • Food lying out
  • Damp and mouldy wood

Monitor Rodent Populations

Rodent populations often decline after natural disasters like hurricanes or floods. But there’s always a sudden increase when things go back to normal. Regardless of the situation, we must ensure to conduct rodent inspection and control methods regularly. 

But rodents can be good at hiding and may cause infestation without us knowing. Below are some areas where they’re likely to sneak in:

  • Waterways
  • Garages
  • Attics
  • Cupboards
  • Utility lines
  • Rooftops
  • Downspouts
  • Closet and food storage

Clean Up after Rodents

Of course, we should always clean up after we see any signs of rodent activity or infestation. Leaving any trace of their waste can attract more rodents to our homes. But, we should use proper cleaning procedures and protective equipment or else, we put ourselves at risk of exposure. 

Different Species of Rodents Found in Canada

House mouse It’s among the most common species of mice in Canada. They are nocturnal rodents and usually prefer to live inside where there’s warmth, water and food. 
Field mouse This type of rodent prefers to live outside in tree cavities, underbrush, grasslands and other densely wooded areas.
Deer mouse It’s a typical mouse with a moderately long tail and large ears. This rodent prefers to live in wooded areas but will seek shelter inside buildings during colder months. 


How To Get Rid of Camel Cricket

There’s no questioning why rodent infestations are more common than ever right now. For assistance, visit PestGuide today.

Pro Tip 

“Although the popular techniques of traps and poisons can be used if you see a rodent on your property or in your home, these devices are rarely effective in the event of a severe infestation.”

Check Out Pest Guide Today

You can use various DIY strategies to get rid of rodents and other pests. But most of them are only effective for a short period. Plus, improper use of pest control procedures and products can lead to serious health risks. If you want to ensure the long-term and safest treatment, the key is to hire a pest control service. 

Take the first step today and reach out to a reliable pest control company. Our expert technicians at Pestguide have the best resources to help you with any of your pest problems. Contact us now for a free quote.

Can Rodents Transmit CoViD-19 FAQs 

  • What are some of the animals that are susceptible to CoViD-19?

The virus that causes CoViD-19 can infect some animals under certain conditions. The infection is most notable among cats, ferrets, and pigs. 
  • Can the CoViD-19 be transmitted through animals?

Currently, the transmission of CoViD-19 only occurs from one person to another. There’s no evidence that the infected animal can transmit the infections back to humans. As such, the risk of animals spreading CoViD-19 to people is significantly low. 
  • Where do most rodents live?

You can find rodents worldwide, excluding Antarctica, New Zealand, and some other ocean islands. These species live in diverse habitats, but you can usually see them in rainforests, deserts, swamps, and grasslands. 
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